The American Modernity Research Group is a faculty collective dedicated to discussing research interests and recent intellectual trends related to Americanist scholarship on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

While individual faculty members’ research interests range from the American Renaissance to naturalism and from Anglo-American modernism to the modernism of the Harlem Renaissance, the group finds common ground in researching the American literary tradition’s interactions with the cultural, economic, spatial, and international currents of the transnational conditions of modernity.

The American Modernity Research Group meets twice a semester:

  1. Workshop, work-in-progress by a group member
  2. Meet with, learn from, and offer constructive feedback on a visiting scholar’s work in progress

Since the AMRG was founded at the beginning of 2012, it has hosted Shelley Streeby (Literature Department, UC-San Diego), Stacey Margolis (University of Utah), Douglas Mao (English Department, Johns Hopkins University), and Priscilla Wald (English Department, Duke University).

For more information, contact Brian Roberts (English)




Maria Mercedes Andrade specializes in critical theory, modernism studies, and Latin American literature at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She’s the author of Ambivalent Desires: Representations of Modernity and Private Life in Colombia (1890s-1950s). Her larger critical interest involves the intersections between the development of Latin American and international modernism. She met with the research group to workshop a chapter from her current project on the Colombian poet and novelist José Asunción Silva, provisionally titled “‘That heteroclite assembly’: Collecting, Modernity and the ‘Savage Mind’ in De sobremesa”. 

November 11, 2014, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: JFSB 4010





Caroline Levander met to discuss and workshop the introduction to her forthcoming co-edited book, Hotel Life: The Story of a Place Where Anything Can Happen. They spent the last 30-40 minutes discussing her recent article in American Literary History on the state of the field of transnational American studies.

October 10, 2014, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: JFSB 4188



Wai Chee Dimock, proffesor of the Yale University English Department will workshop an upcoming essay on the epic and also present at the Humanities Center’s weekly colloquium.

March 14th, 11:00 a.m., JFSB.







Watch interview


Gordon Hutner of the English Department at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign will discuss his new research into the twenty-first-century novel.

November 1st, 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.








Frank Christianson (English, BYU) will workshop a chapter from his work on Buffalo Bill.

March 29th, 4:00 p.m., JFSB 4186



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